What choices do students have?
Once you’ve been accepted to university, the next big decision to make is deciding where you will live for the first year. If you’re lucky enough to get in to your first-choice university, there’s a good chance you’ll be offered a place in university-managed halls of residence, but there are other options too.
Halls of Residence
Like blocks of flats for students, halls are usually located on campus, or nearby, and are managed by the university. They are very popular with first year students for several reasons:
- They are easy to arrange directly with the university.
- More often than not, they are furnished and have an en-suite bathroom.
- Their convenient location makes uni life and socialising easy.
- They often have all the facilities a student could need close by.
- Bills are usually (but not always) included in the rent making it easier to budget.
- They have security.
- They can sometimes be catered – handy for those who really can’t cook.
The downside to living in halls is that it can cost more than a room in a shared house. You’ll also share a kitchen with other students who are living on the same hallway. This is ok if the other students have similar living standards as you, and you all get along.
Watch: University of Plymouth Halls of Residence 360 video
If living in halls appeals to you, it’s advisable to speak to your university’s accommodation team at the earliest possible opportunity. It’s worth remembering, however, that halls are very popular with new students, and they fill up fast, so there’s no guarantee.
If halls aren’t for you, or if you don’t manage to secure a place in them, a similar option is to move into privately-owned halls.
Private Halls of Residence
Private halls of residence are very similar to university halls of residence, only they’re managed by private companies. With state-of-the-art facilities, they are specifically designed for students and usually within walking distance of campus.
Watch: 360 tour of private halls of residence.
To find out about private halls of residence, you should contact your university’s accommodation team who will have a list of approved private providers. These will also be advertised online.
Shared Student Housing
An alternative to living in halls is to rent a house with other students. This is a popular option with second-year students who have already made friends during the first year.
University towns and cities will have a lot of private student housing to choose from. Once again, your university’s accommodation team may be able to help find suitable shared housing, but some universities are now promoting private halls over private housing, so you might have to look online or with local letting agencies.
What if I don’t like my accommodation?
If you move into university halls of residence and you really don’t like it, there’s a possibility that the university might be able to relocate you. It partly depends on the reason why you don’t like it, and if there is any availability elsewhere. If you are in private accommodation, you might be able to relocate if the landlord or company have alternative options, but this will most likely incur a fee. If there are no alternative options, it will mean a case of finding somewhere else on your own. It will be up to the landlord’s discretion whether they return your any money that was paid upfront.